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Kansas News

Dr. Pearson helps shape the LGBT experience at WSU

By Blake Hampton

GenderStudieswordcloudWICHITA - Wichita State University features different classes and student groups as a safe spot for LGBT youth to express themselves. One class and one student group in particular not only let individuals express, but also to listen and learn of the experiences of others. Dr. Jennifer Pearson, an Assistant Professor in sociology, teaches Intro to Gender Studies (SOC 306), and is also the faculty advisor for the group Spectrum. She has been teaching gender studies and has been the faculty advisor for Spectrum (formerly known as That Gay Group!) since 2009.

    Intro to Gender Studies involves taking a look at how individuals identify their gender, which can be within a range between male and female, agender and genderfluid. The class looks at the difference between the biology of a sex (anatomy, chromosomes), gender identity, and how someone communicates to the world what their gender is.


Anti-bullying activist aims to help LGBTQ youth

Z-Mallory LibertyPressBy Ciara Reid, staff reporter

KANSAS CITY - One single day in 2013 changed Zachary Mallory’s life forever. That year, Mallory, a freshman in high school at the time, came out as gay. He was bullied, even pushed down the stairs. Each night, he would lock himself in his room and be alone. He would even skip school for fear of being bullied.

    “The struggle of coping with myself being gay was about the same struggle everyone around me was having,” Mallory says. It was hard to accept, he says, because he had heard and read stories of those who came out young, and were killed for being simply themselves. “I was terrified,” Mallory says. ”It led me into drugs and depression and almost forced me to end my life, after numerous times of being told I am not good enough."


Riverfest 2015 Photography Contest winners announced

29-Jul-15 48WICHITA - Wichita Festivals, Inc., which produces Riverfest, announced July 24 the winners of the 10th Annual Riverfest Photography Contest at a reception at Douglas Photographic Imaging, sponsor of the contest.

    Photographers of all skill levels, novice and professional, submitted their favorite 2015 Riverfest photos for the chance to win cash prizes. Awards were presented for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place, plus runner-up, in six categories. A “Best in Show” award went to Bob Bishop for his photograph of the Capitol Federal Fireworks Finale on June 6. Twenty-six awards were presented in all, totaling $1,800 in cash prizes.

    A total of 567 photos were submitted by 39 photographers this year, up more than 40% over 2014. Photographs submitted for the contest help document Riverfest 2015 and are used to promote the festival on its website, in advertisements and elsewhere.


Points of Interest

KMUW wins for documentary, interview, and commentary

kmuwlogoWICHITA – In a fierce competition among newsmakers around the nation, KMUW–Wichita Public Radio 89.1 FM was honored with three new awards.

    • 1st Place – Interview: Crossing the Cedar Fence by Aileen LeBlanc, KMUW News
     • 1st Place – Short Documentary: The Anniversary of Dr. Tiller’s Murder by Aileen
     • 2nd Place – Commentary: I’ve Just Seen A Facebook by Richard Crowson, KMUW


COMCARE Crisis Services move to new location

movingboxesSEDGWICK COUNTY - As of July 24, COMCARE Crisis Services moved to the new Community Crisis Center (CCC), located at 635 N. Main. The CCC - a joint initiative by Sedgwick, Butler and Sumner counties - provides a single location, and a comprehensive system of care for integrated assessment, triage, stabilization, engagement, and referral to ongoing supports and services for those in the region experiencing a behavioral health crisis.

    The CCC expands existing crisis services to promote rapid stabilizations, and to avoid emergency room admissions, local and state hospitalizations, and jail bookings. This project will improve coordination among agencies and improve overall care and hospital diversion outcomes, while also reducing costs through community treatment and the elimination of duplicate services.     


Wichita’s 95th Anniversary Celebration activities of the 19th Amendment

votes-for-womenWednesday, Aug. 12, 1:30–2:30pm
Wichita Public Library Downtown, Senior Wednesday
A panel of League of Women Voters members will share what it took to get the 19th Amendment passed. Free and open to the public.

Sunday, Aug. 16, 2–4pm
Wichita Sedgwick County Historical Museum
Historian and author Diane Eickhoff, with support from the Kansas Humanities Council, will present “Women Rising: How Kansas Women Gained the Vote, 1859-1912.” Reception following. Free and open to the public.

Wednesday, Aug. 26, 3–5pm
University Congregational Church, 9209 E. 29th St.
Tea for modern day Women Suffragists to honor past Presidents of the Wichita Metro League of Women Voters and women who are politically active. Free and open to the public.

Wednesday, Aug. 26, 7–9pm
WSU Hughes Metro-plex, 5015 E. 29th St.
National Women’s Equality Day Cele-bration
Honorary Chair Nancy Landon Kassebaum Baker welcomes former Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger as the keynote speaker. Jill Docking will provide a challenge to women at this program that commemorates the actual signing of the 19th amendment 95 years ago on Aug. 26, 1920. Patriotic  music provided by Karla Burns, Sharon Cranford and East High School Instrumental Music Dept. Co-sponsored by the WSU Departments of Political Science, Women Studies and the Hugo Wall Center. Free and open to the public.


Art & Food

The Wall at the Monarch Gastropub

TheWallBy Grayson Barnes

WICHITA - Every evening, until about three years ago, the southeast corner by the Delano roundabout in Wichita was adorned by motorcycles. The line often stretched up the street. For the last two and a half years, though, the site has been home to the Monarch Gastropub (579 W. Douglas). The Harleys and Hondas are gone from the outside and the interior is outfitted with bicycle-rim lamps, local art, and The Wall o’ whiskey.

    I met with Jennifer Ray, Monarch’s owner/operator. Ray is intense, her bearing indicates tightly coiled energy. When asked why she opened the Monarch, she said she was already working in sports bars, but didn’t like that format. She also wanted to be her own boss. When the corner in Delano became available, Ray jumped on it.

    The dramatic change from a former “biker bar” to the current upscale-yet-laid-back space was driven by a number of issues besides wanting to erase the former concept: an interest in the history of Wichita, the desire for something unique, and storage needs. “It was a puzzle with a lot of moving parts,” Ray grinned.

    “Monarch” was a moniker resurrected from that of an early saloon in Wichita near First and Main. “We were under some tight time constraints, like, having to open in less than 65 days, and we needed a name. My boyfriend went online and did some research and we pulled this one out of the archives.” Besides recalling the city’s past, “Monarch” suggests sovereignty (there IS single malt bourbon on The Wall), as well as the butterfly.

    The interior took on a butterfly-like transformation. Ray credits her boyfriend with helping her foster the ambience, along with his R&D (Research and Development) work. “He built the lamps,” she beamed, “and other local artists and friends helped create this space – they have ownership in it.”

    Ray made the stained-glass over the main windows. Throughout the large room hang works by local artists. This ties current Wichita culture to the past. The past is further amplified by Ray’s decision to retain the original wood bar. Its red surface, a holdover from the place’s previous incarnation, reflects from huge mirrors on The Wall behind the liquor. Ray wanted to capture the essence of Wichita and offer an atmosphere that was clean and not stuffy.

    Along with the unique “persona” of the place, the Monarch has distinctive food and liquor offerings. Some of this had to do with logistics: the size of the kitchen (small) and the amount of storage space (not enough). The little kitchen did not lend itself to a huge menu, so Ray kept it simple. The addition of a smoker out back meant that what could have been a run-of-the-mill “sammy and apps” assortment has extra panache. Meats are smoked in-house, as are cheeses. A number of the selections from The Wall also find their way into marinades, bastes, and sauces.


Tom Otterness' Makin' Hay debuts this month on the WSU campus

MakinHayWICHITA - This August, the Martin H. Bush Outdoor Sculpture Collection at Wichita State University will have a new installation from Tom Otterness, the creator of WSU’s beloved sculpture Millipede.

    Tom Otterness’ Makin’ Hay will be placed at the intersection of Perimeter Road and Mike Oatman Drive on the WSU campus.

    Makin’ Hay, a group of three 18-foot tall sculptures, has been seen most recently at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, AR. The group sculpture will be on loan to the Ulrich Museum of Art until the summer of 2017 through the generosity of the Alturas Foundation.

    The outdoor sculpture collection boasts 76 works spread across the 330-acre WSU campus. Public Art Review named this collection among the top ten campus sculpture collections in 2006.

    Take an online sculpture tour, download a printable map of the collection or submit a tour request form and schedule a free, guided tour of the collection for groups of 10 or more at www.ulrich.wichita.edu. l


National News

Reports: Pentagon Set To Announce Plan To Lift Transgender Military Ban

WASHINGTON – Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, responded to an Associated Press story in which it’s reported that the Department of Defense will soon announce a plan for lifting the ban on open service by transgender people in the military.

“Transgender Americans have every right to serve their country openly and honestly, and for far too long, this discriminatory ban has robbed them of the dignity of doing so,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “The time for ending the military’s longstanding ban on transgender service is long overdue. Values that represent the foundation of our armed services--including integrity, respect and courage--will become more true when these outdated regulations are finally updated. We welcome reports that the Pentagon is planning to announce it will end the ban, and we will carefully review their plan for doing so.”

According to the Associated Press, the announcement is expected this week and “the military would have six months to determine the impact and work out details, with the presumption that they would end one of the last gender- or sexuality-based barriers to military service.”  


White House Responds To Petition On Dangerous Anti-LGBT Conversion Therapy

Petition was launched in response to the tragic story of Leelah Alcorn and calls for help to ban the dangerous and discredited practice

WASHINGTON – Today, the White House responded to a petition with over 120,000 signers seeking “help to ban the practice known as 'conversion therapy.’” The petition came in response to the heartbreaking story of Leelah Alcorn, a 17 year old transgender youth who tragically took her own life after being subjected to the horrifying experiences of the dangerous and discredited practice. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization hailed the White House’s response to the petition.

“The White House statement today is historic and sends a clear message that this dangerous and discredited practice should be relegated to the dustbin of history,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Psychological abuse has no place in therapy, no matter the intention. Conversion therapy uses fear and shame that no child should be exposed to, telling young people that the only way to find love or acceptance is to change the very nature of who they are.”


Lambda Legal Applauds President Obama for Supporting Banning ‘Ex-gay Therapy’ for Minors

obama-lgbt“So-called ‘ex-gay therapy’ devastates LGBT people and their families, and we commend the president for speaking out against these dangerous and discredited practices.”

(Washington, April 8, 2015) –Today President Obama condemned efforts to change sexual orientation or gender identity – sometimes referred to as “ex-gay”, “conversion” or “reparative” therapy – for minors.

In a statement released today, President Obama calls for an end to “conversion therapy,” stating in part, “As part of our dedication to protecting America’s youth, this administration supports efforts to ban the use of conversion therapy for minors.”


Corporations to State Lawmakers: Stop the Harmful Attacks on LGBT People

open-signWASHINGTON – Today, major corporations signed on to launch a statement by businesses speaking out against an onslaught of anti-LGBT legislation being considered in states around the country. The statement, launched today by the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, calls on public officials to defeat or abandon efforts to enact these harmful pieces of legislation. Other corporations are expected to sign on to the growing list in the coming days, reflecting an ever increasing momentum to stop these bills.

In a Sunday op-ed for The Washington Post, Apple CEO Tim Cook decried pro-discrimination laws as dangerous and called on business leaders to speak up. Joining Cook in calling out these laws are long time supporters of equality: American Airlines, Inc.; Apple, Inc.; Levi Strauss & Co; Microsoft Corp.; Orbitz Worldwide; Replacements, Ltd; ​Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.; Symantec Corporation; and Wells Fargo & Company.


Progress Seen in Arkansas RFRA Fight As Governor Hutchinson Halts Bill

ArkansasFlag-rainbowWASHINGTON--April 1, in response to the announcement that Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson will ask the Arkansas Legislature to recall the discriminatory H.B. 1228, amend it to mirror the provisions of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and that he will consider an executive order granting an unspecified set of protections for LGBT state employees, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) released this statement from its President, Chad Griffin.

"It's clear Governor Hutchinson has heard the voices of thousands of Arkansans and millions across the nation, and today's decision to temporarily stop this discriminatory law from advancing is a sign of progress.  But the proof will be in the pudding, and we must now wait to see what actions and language Governor Hutchinson and the Arkansas Legislature put forward in the coming days and weeks. 


COVER LibertyPress-shadow Aug15

Welcome Back K-State LGBT Students!

Music Theatre Wichita

WSU Theater 2015-2016 Schedule - Save the Dates

Marcia McCoy, Ph.D.